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Digital Subscriptions > The Strad > November 2019 > Reviews

Reviews

THIS MONTH’S RECOMMENDED RECORDINGS Our pick of the new releases

The creative and devoted Takács Quartet
AMANDA TIPTON

TAKÁCS QUARTET, JEREMY DENK (PIANO)

ALICE TULLY HALL 5 AUGUST 2019

The rich, characterful playing of the Takács Quartet delighted listeners in this concert, part of the annual Mostly Mozart Festival. Even after 25 years together, violinist Edward Dusinberre and cellist András Fejér remain as creative and devoted as ever, their playing both emboldened and refined by time. Mozart’s K575 featured elegant ends of phrases in the Allegretto and sensitive playing from Dusinberre in the sweet Andante, although at times I found the richness of the supporting lines (often intensified by vibrato) distracting. The Mozart was followed by Beethoven’s op.135 (and that by Dohnányi’s Piano Quintet no.1, performed with Jeremy Denk), and while some might criticise such a ‘traditional’ programme, what’s not to love about glorious pieces, performed gloriously?

The Quartet did not shy away from the complexities of the first movement of the Beethoven, but instead brought out every interesting harmony or surprisingly placed accent, and even the sunniest melodies were tinged with a hint of shadow. The Vivace demonstrated some of the longest spiccato I’ve ever witnessed, but it was surprisingly clear and added a memorable depth and richness to the sound. The Lento captured a sombre mood and darkness difficult to articulate with words, and featured some exquisite playing from Dusinberre.

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About The Strad

Sarah Chang discusses her passion projects and we explore the lives of Chicago's early bow makers. Joseph Curtin examines bridges, there's a look at Brazil's classical music and Alisa Weilerstein reveals her Sentimental Work. Plus David Kim on sautillй.